Meet the artist whose fine lines have captivated the fine art world
22 Apr 2021
When it comes to serious art, painting is child’s play for internationally renowned artist Tim Christie. Working with fine lines and Resene paint, Tim creates magnificent compositions that morph and change in front of your eyes.
While there are many technical complexities to his artwork, making sure the painting process remains fun is one of Tim’s top priorities. “In a nutshell, I’m inspired by play,” says Tim, who considers his art practice as an extension of childhood. “Whether it was drawing, painting, writing music or building tree forts, childhood was a time of immersion in self-directed projects.
“As an adult, I would best describe what I do as ‘serious play.’”
Establishing his distinct style in 2017, Tim was originally interested in the relationship between precise, technical modes of producing imagery and soft facial features. His work is based on how 2D and 3D art can blend in a single painting. After experimenting with large scale paintings using lines, Tim knew he was onto something special. The geometric patterns in his work ebb and flow, creating magnificent portraits when viewed from far away. “Contrast is central to my work. The mesmerising effect of black and white lines or contrasting colours creates real rhythm and energy.”
Tim begins his making process by creating computer-aided designs that form the basis of his paintings. He then translates these designs onto the canvas using Resene paint. “The way I paint involves a lot of detailed masking in order to get sharp, clean lines and preserve the digital aesthetic of my compositions,” says Tim.
“When I first decided to paint some really large canvasses, I realised that the paint I was currently using wouldn’t cut it. I needed strong, vibrant colours and robust high-viscosity paint,” says Tim, who hasn’t regretted his shift to using Resene paint. “Resene is formulated to be durable, resilient and colourfast. I want my art to last a long time!”
The complex application process begins with a layer of masking product over the canvas. The design is digitally cut out of the masking product. Tim then hand paints the exposed areas and peels off the masking product. Here Tim has used Resene Drop Dead Gorgeous and Resene Black to achieve a high contrast look.
Deep purples, such as Resene Pukeko, provide the perfect base colour that highlights the brighter colours in Tim’s work. His favourite Resene colour, Resene Niagara, is a progressive peacock green that also features strongly in his paintings.
Tim’s first large-scale painting, Coexistence, mesmerised crowds in Sydney. “It captivated people because it appears completely abstract up close yet further away, or looking through your camera phone, the image materialises.
“One woman turned to me and said, ‘You’re not an artist, you’re a magician.’”
Tim’s colourful work, ‘Coexist’, was based on his first large-scale work exhibited in Sydney titled ‘Coexistence’. ‘Coexist’ uses Resene Black, Resene Pukeko, Resene Curious Blue, and splashes of Resene FX Fluoro Pink. The artwork raises the idea that we are more connected than we are different.
Tim wears several hats, including being a busy father of two. With his art practice on the up and up, Tim also practices design and is involved part time in a software company he co-founded. “It’s sometimes a bit insane but art is my true passion and primary focus.”
Tim’s work is constantly evolving and now includes weavings and lightworks alongside his original paintings. “One idea leads to another and I find myself captivated by trying new materials.
“It’s a personal journey and a continually evolving process.”
Tim is constantly coming up with new ways to add contrast to his work. These new ideas include working with weaving and light.